What a difference a week makes – Ravens humble Rams, 37-7

September 25, 2011 | Drew Forrester

All is well with the world again.

At least as long as the Jets don’t come to Baltimore and win next Sunday.

The Ravens got an “elite” performance from Joe Flacco in the first quarter at St. Louis and the team’s defensive line completely stifled an already-pedestrian St. Louis offense en-route to an easy 37-7 win on Sunday that improved John Harbaugh’s team to 2-1 on the season.

The Rams secondary was so putrid in the opening 15 minutes that 2nd round draft pick Torrey Smith collected his first, second and third career catches in the first quarter — and all three were touchdowns.  Staked to a 21-0 lead, the Ravens cruised from there, adding three Billy Cundiff field goals to put a bow on one of the team’s easiest road victories in the John Harbaugh era.

And to think this was the team that got buzz-sawed in Tennessee last Sunday.

Then again, the Rams didn’t have Kenny Britt.

In fact, the Rams don’t really have ANY wide receivers of note.

And the pressure applied by the Baltimore defense on Sunday kept Sam Bradford uncomfortable from the very first series.

Last Sunday, the Ravens did a poor job of protecting Joe Flacco and an even worse job chasing after Tennessee signal caller Matt Hasselbeck.  That proved to be the difference in the game, as Flacco and the offense never got untracked and Hasselbeck and Britt tortured Baltimore’s small-in-stature secondary all afternoon.

In St. Louis, the old Ravens returned, as the offensive line did a suitable job keeping Flacco upright and the Rams offensive front couldn’t contain the Baltimore pass rush.  That gave Flacco plenty of time to find Smith and Anquan Boldin in the first half and Bradford managed just one TD pass in an otherwise forgettable afternoon.

The only nitpicky negative observation from the blowout was the staff’s decision to insert defensive lineman Haloti Ngata on an offensive package – as a tight end – in the 2nd quarter with the score already 21-0 and the Rams waving the white towel. They just gave him $40 million of guaranteed money and they’re going to put Ngata in as an offensive player?  That one just didn’t make any sense.

And then Harbaugh and Cam Cameron elected to keep Joe Flacco in at quarterback with a 23-point lead and five minutes left in the game…and then up 37-7 with three minutes remaining.  Both weren’t smart decisions.  But when you win 37-7, no one cares about the small stuff.

So let me get this straight. Baltimore has two wins this season:  By the scores of 35-7 and 37-7.

And they lost to the Titans, 26-13.

Which Ravens team is the real one?

Well, based on THIS week’s performance, I’d say the one we saw in St. Louis.

Let’s see which team shows up next Sunday night against the Jets.

Rex Ryan better hope it’s the one that played in Nashville last week.

The “other one”, the Ravens team that played in week #1 and week #3…that team is pretty freakin’ good.

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